UFC Featherweight Champion has been probably the biggest name fighter to voice his disapproval of the UFC’s uniform/”fighter kit” deal with Reebok. As a result of the deal, all fighters lost their existing fight week sponsors, and the deal negotiated by the UFC netted the fighters much less money than traditional sponsorship had provided. The champions are given the ability to negotiate separate deals with Reebok, and fighters Reebok likes (such as Paige VanZant) can be granted the same opportunity.
Aldo has alluded to Venum, his main sponsor, making him a lucrative offer to stay with them even though he can no longer wear their apparel during fight week. Today, Aldo’s coach and manager Andre Pederneiras told MMAFighting that the champion is still negotiating with Venum while also playing them off Reebok and a third company:
Actually, we’re still under contract with Venum. Are we in negotiation with Reebok? Ever since they signed with the UFC. Not only with them, but also with a third one. We’re going to sit and talk with everyone to see what’s best for Aldo.
Honestly, [the Reebok deal] changes nothing for Aldo. He lost those sponsors that pay to appear on fight night, but those monthly ones, that pay all year long, nobody left.
This goes contrary to Aldo’s previous claims that the Reebok deal is costing him money. Perhaps he’s changing his tune now that he’s negotiating with them.